Fathers' Day

It's Fathers' Day in the US of A. Aussie dads have to wait until September for their special day, but I thought I'd give my dad a head start with this post. It doesn't matter how old I get, my dad is always there for me with love, humour, and wise counsel (as is my mother, for that matter, but that's for another blog post. This one is about dads). This is my dad teaching me to ride a billy-cart. Tell me YOUR dad sported a mo, a fro, a purple tie-died t-shirt, navy blue aviators and shoes that defied awesomeness, and I will take it under consideration that he almost might have been almost as cool as mine. So today, randomly and by no means exclusively, I want to list some of the things I love about my dad:

* I love that he and Mr B text each other every other night and play silly mind games with each other, like they are BFFs

* I love that he cares for me like I'm still his little girl, while respecting my independence and intelligence

* I love that he and I fixed up a bike together for my little brother's birthday when I was about nine, and that I got to say "I made the bike" even though I did precisely nothing, except get in the way

* I love that my father would always pretend not to love the pets in our family but, when he thought we weren't looking, he would give them cuddles and treats

* I love that for the first 12 years of my life, I thought there was a song called "Oh-ho me o-ho" because it echoed through the house every morning as my father sang in the shower (this was actually his personal interpretation of "O sole mio")

* I love that, despite zilch in previous experience as a builder - my father was a social worker - he built a dream house in the country for us to live in

* I love that I can go to him for advice, whether it's personal, business or anything else, and he's always smart and always loving

* I love that he makes nearly every family get-together involve a belly-laugh

* I love how wonderful he is to my mother, that the two of them set a ridiculously high standard for marital bliss, and the absolutely brilliant childhood that gave me

* I love that when I do stupid, crazy, impulsive things, he says "I trust you"

* I love that he pretends to like my book Airmail and tells me he is proud of me, even though I know it is the polar opposite of his cup of tea

* I love that French is the language he grew up with, but he speaks it with such a broad Aussie accent that he failed it at school and most of the relatives can't understand more than one in three words he says

* I love that he models the following of crazy dreams: from family, to life without electricity, to worm farming, to photography and publishing

* I love that he has to wear the right outfit for every activity. My dad has a fruit-tree pruning outfit, a block splitting outfit, a stamp collecting outfit and many, many more

* I love that he has obsessions, not hobbies (my mother's phrasing), because I am the same

* I love that when my horse Starbrow died... Starbrow, who had been in my family for more than 20 years and, if I sat in the paddock and crossed my legs, would go to sleep with his head in my lap... I love that when my old horse died, my father's sobs were as ragged as mine